Pic du Midi de Bigorre (Bagnères-de-Bigorre)
An exceptional view on the roof of the Pyrenees!
The Pic du Midi is the emblem of Bigorre, forming a belvedere at 2,877 meters on the rest of the chain and on the plain. It is recognizable among a hundred by its observatory which crowns it, extended by the television transmitter.
Since the 18th century, the summit of the Pic has appeared as an ideal observation site, thanks to the exceptional transparency of the atmosphere.
The scientific site has been fitted out to offer, in addition to the exceptional view, a scientific presentation of the activities carried out there.
Construction of the Pic de Midi de Bigorre
1774: The scientific history of the Pic, before being astronomical, was meteorological.
MONGE and DARCET go up to the Pic to study atmospheric pressure
1873: General DE NANSOUTY installs a provisional meteorological station where he measures pressure, temperature, humidity and various other quantities of interest to meteorology
1874: Creation of the Bagnères / Barèges road via the Col du Tourmalet.
1878: Laying of the first stone of the Observatory. A wish of Nansouty and the engineer Vaussenat (members of the Ramond de Bagnères company)
1884: First astronomical activities
1908: Construction of the first dome (current Baillaud dome)
1927: Opening of the Tourmalet-Sencours road which allows men and equipment to be transported. The transport is done by a mule track.
1930: Bernard Lyot invents the coronograph and begins his observations.
1933: The road is extended to Laquets where a hotel is built.
1949: Commissioning of the inclined plane to transport personnel and equipment from Les Laquets to the summit.
1952: Creation of the cable car between La Mongie / Taoulet and the Pic.
1957: Installation of the radio / TV transmitter at the top.
1962: Construction of the TDF building.
1963: Commissioning of the TDF antenna. Installation of the 106 cm telescope in the Gentili dome. Collaboration with NASA in the preparation of the APOLLO moon mapping and planetology missions.
1980: Commissioning of the TBL (Bernard Lyot Telescope 2 m.).
1998: Inauguration of the scientific premises
2000: Opening to the public.
- Nearest hotels
- Station de montagne Tourmalet Barèges / La Mongie at 2 miles↑
- Col du Tourmalet at 3 miles↑
- Lac Bleu de Lesponne (Baucens) at 3 miles↑
- Sainte-Marie-de-Campan at 5 miles↑
- Campan (Campan ) at 6 miles↑
- Bar'Edge (Barèges) at 4 miles↑
- Thermes de Barèges-Barzun (Barèges) at 5 miles↑
- Luz-Saint-Sauveur at 9 miles↑
- Pic du Montaigu at 5 miles↑
- Bagnères-de-Bigorre at 9 miles↑
- Pic de Bastan at 6 miles↑
- Lac d'Aubert at 6 miles↑
- Lac d'Aumar at 6 miles↑
- Musée Larrey (Baudéan) at 6 miles↑
- Les Laquettes at 7 miles↑
- Les Marmottes de Payolle (Campan) at 7 miles↑
- for Peyresourde airport at 18 miles↑
- for Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées airport at 18 miles↑